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School yearbooks help preserve black history

Date published: 2/19/2014

February is Black History Month. When Dr. Carter G. Woodson first envisioned "Negro" History Week, as it was called back then, no doubt it was his desire that the history of his forefathers and the history of his generation and generations to come be told and preserved.

There is a bit of African-American history that has been lying around for the past 60 years or more, which, if not preserved in some manner, will soon be lost to all future generations.

That history is represented by the class yearbooks of the former area colored schools, such as H.H. Poole, Walker-Grant, J.J. Wright, Ralph Bunche and Union high schools.

Some of those yearbooks have been in attics, closets, drawers and elsewhere since the 1940s gathering dust. In numerous cases, the person to whom the yearbook originally belonged is no longer with us.

Facilities such as the J.J. Wright Museum, the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, or the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center would love to have copies of these old high school yearbooks to be used for research and in exhibits.

Anyone who has a copy of one of these yearbooks and wishes to donate it to one of the facilities mentioned above could send it to me at Box 9165, Fredericksburg, VA 22403, via registered or certified mail and I will see that it gets to the facility of your choice.

There is an old saying that goes: "Put your money where your mouth is." I have recently donated a 1956 Walker-Grant Yearbook (The Imperial) and 1957 Walker-Grant Yearbook (Tiger Trails) to the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center in Fredericksburg.

Frank M. White


Mr. White is a Stafford County historian.